Emotional eating is one of the primary causes of weight gain and weight re-gain after weight loss. Stress eating, boredom eating, comfort eating—even eating as a way of celebrating—these patterns often sneak up on women who are busy caring for their families, their businesses, and their complicated lives. My clients sometimes tell me that it feels like the pounds slipped back on when they got busy and were “looking the other way.”
Here are three tips to keep emotional eating at bay:
1. Be proactive with your life. Emotional eating often happens when we feel like we are chasing our life instead of in charge of it. When we feel behind, overwhelmed, tired, or overburdened, our problem-solving abilities are diminished, our will power is reduced, and a quick food fix can be awfully tempting. It doesn’t sound very sexy, but spending twenty minutes at the beginning of your week identifying your schedule and your priorities and making sure that you schedule your own needs and self care can make all the difference. Did you see that sentence about scheduling your own needs and self care? Women who feel in control with food and life don’t skip that part.
2. Be aware. Often, it’s the things that we are trying NOT to think about or avoid that trigger emotional eating. I’m a huge fan of regular journaling. Writing is a great way to stay connected with what’s going on in your head.
3. Acknowledge tiredness. One of the biggest causes of out-of-control eating is exhaustion. We’re trying to do a lot, but ignoring tiredness and doing without sleep doesn’t help. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss, or feel in control with food, getting eight hours of sleep a night is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Take good care,